Live Review: Twin Atlantic/Catfish and the Bottlemen @ Utilita Arena

By Joe Papworth

On Wednesday the 5th of November, Catfish and the Bottlemen returned to the north east for a gig as part of the tour of their new album ‘The Balance’. They were supported, not for the first time, by Glaswegian alt-rock band Twin Atlantic. The band warmed the crowd up with an energetic 35 minute set of 8 songs from both their new and old discography.

The poor mixing setup in the Utilita Arena did a disservice to “Hold On”, primarily vocally-driven; thankfully, this was fixed for Catfish’s set after the intermission. 

The band opened with ‘The Chaser’ a heavy-hitting beat-driven track from their most recent 2016 album ‘GLA’. The song was a strong opener to introduce the band’s sound and get the crowd going. They played their first song energetically before introducing themselves to the audience for the first time. They then launched into their second song ‘Hold on’ from their third album ‘Great Divide’. The poor mixing setup in the Utilita Arena did a disservice to this vocals-driven song; thankfully, this was fixed for Catfish’s set after the intermission. 

Twin Atlantic were performing in support of their upcoming album, “POWER. Image credit: Guus Krol via Flickr.

The next song was ‘Volcano’ taken from their upcoming album ‘POWER’. ‘POWER’ is their first album as an indie band since their recent split from Red Bull Records, and their performance of ‘Volcano’ was a sneak peek into what’s to come for the band in the new year. The material played well with the crowd singing along to the chorus by the third repetition. 

The band then turned from the new into the old, returning to their 2012 album ‘Free’ with the song ‘Make a Beast of Myself’. This was a more melancholy number, beginning the lulled middle of the set. ‘Make a Beast of Myself’ was suitably followed by another of the band’s slower songs: ‘Brothers and Sisters’. Both, juxtaposed against the opening of the set, highlighted the band’s range and diversity.

Afterwards, a circuit of non-stop energy: starting with another song from their latest release, ‘Novocaine’, and followed with ‘No Sleep’. The latter, perhaps the closest that the band’s discography gets to the heavy metal genre maintained the liveliness. To quote a friend after the song had finished: “I’d definitely not recommend that as a cure for insomnia”. 

There was only one place the band could have gone next: their most famous song, ‘Heart and Soul’, from their third album, ‘The Great Divide’. As soon as the baseline started, the whole arena was on their feet. The performance was exactly what the crowd needed. Twin Atlantic left Catfish and the Bottlemen with a crowd ready for more.

Twin Atlantic left Catfish and the Bottlemen with a crowd ready for more.

Twin Atlantic’s performance in Newcastle was one of real spirit and energy, though it was unfortunate that the loudness of the drum mix at times overwhelmed the other components of the set. Nevertheless, supporting Catfish and The Bottlemen is an amazing opportunity for the band to reach out to new fans in the run-up to their 2020 tour – and, if this show is anything to go by, I can wholeheartedly recommend getting tickets.

Twin Atlantic played:

The Chaser
Hold On
Volcano
Make a Beast of Myself
Brothers and Sisters
Novocaine
No Sleep
Heart and Soul

Twin Atlantic play Newcastle’s Riverside on 8th March 2020. Their new album, “POWER”, will be released 24th January 2020 via Virgin EMI Records and can be pre-ordered at www.twinatlantic.com. Debut single, “Novocaine”, is available to stream now.

Image credit: Guus Krol via Flickr.

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